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In many ways the Aptica could be thought of as a 6" 2-way mini monitor with integral stand. Except that the latter is a very clever down-firing narrowing transmission line with Helmholtz resonators which very effectively extends the bass to a solid 40Hz. Minimum-phase 1st-order filters, a steeply sloping baffle and rigid coupling of the Accuton ceramic drivers to a hidden steel spine which terminates in a high-mass plinth optimize transient response, assure path-length equality and provide a ground path for micro vibrations. With a no-feedback wide-bandwidth amp like Crayon Audio's CFA-1.2—it throws a very useful low 0.06Ω output impedance into the pot—the result is a super articulated extremely spacious completely illuminated very precise sound without any shadows or cobwebs whatsoever.

A slower warmer fuzzier class D amp with ubiquitous output-capacitor coupling instantly undermines this speaker's highly tweaked responsiveness. Then it sounds a lot more conventional - like a paper-cone speaker with steeper slopes and more reactive filters. As with anything hyper tweaked, it takes little to step outside the line and leave the reservation. Because of their flat tops, the Sopranino tweeters mounted without issue. To counter height and thus firing well above my head, I once again tilted them down with a rubber bumper in the back. And once again I thought that the company's glass frame and concomitant size increase rather Frankenstein'd overall cosmetics. Were I to buy a pair—that'd be completely contingent on the main speakers—I'd order them without glass.

Sonically and at my seat the Aptica does not suffer a compromised treble power response. There isn't sufficient woofer artillery to swamp the room in low-frequency energy which would damp down the fine high freqs. Was that why I now found the Engima quite ineffective, hence redundant? With and without didn't really register anywhere in the plus column. I had no improved image cues where this speaker already is superlative. Ditto attack clarity and for the same reason. Any increase in air which technically might have been the case I didn't notice. Here the inverted ceramic dome tweeter already majors with high marks. If anything, fine tambourine, triangle and cymbal actions felt more precise without the Sopranino, the overall gestalt more relaxed and easy.

Looking at an ad for the company's Mythology M1, I tried to wrap my head around the findings with the Italian two-ways and extrapolate how and why the M1 might differ. It seemed a given that the Sopranino would have to make a demonstrable difference on the firm's own statement monitor. Checking its specifications I took note of its ported woofer alignment.

When it comes to time domain performance, bass reflex gets quite messy. It's a ringing affair by design. That's how it works. Anyone coming off sealed bass or properly implemented TL loading hears this right away. It also interacts more negatively with the room.

I haven't heard the M1. I simply suspect that in the Albedos' case, the designer's focus on high time coherence and impulse response plus very well matched self-damped drivers made addition of Engima's super tweeters far less effective. My Metrum Hex DAC also is of the non-oversampling variety to pay back with better impulse response behavior.

To be sure these are mere personal guesses as to contributing factors and why the Sopranino's addition had such varied success. One certainly would expect that by being specifically designed for them, the M1 really showcase their effectiveness and desirability.